2.1 Fiction as Streaming, Genre as Portal: Jennifer Egan and Ivan Kreilkamp (JP)

We are just delighted to welcome you back to the second season of Novel Dialogue, putting scholars and writers together to chew the fat, and spill secrets of the trade. It begins with a bang; who better to interview the prolific and prize-winning American novelist Jennifer Egan than Ivan Kreilkamp? The distinguished Indiana Victorianist showed his Egan expertise last year in his witty book, A Visit from the Goon Squad Reread.

Jennifer Egan © Pieter M. van Hattem
Ivan Kreilkamp

Their conversation with John ranges widely over Egan’s oeuvre–not to mention 18th and 19th century literature. Trollope, Richardson and Fielding are praised and compared to modern phenomena like TikTok and gamers streaming (including gamers streaming chess, a very special instance of getting inside someone else’s thought process). The PowerPoint chapter in Goon Squad gets special treatment, and tantalizing details from her Egan’s forthcoming The Candy House make an appearance. Egan discusses her authorial impulse towards camouflage, her play with genre’s relationship to specialized lingos and argots–and the way a genre’s norms and structure can function like a “lifeline” and also a “portal.” Her backyard post-writing treat is also revealed: perfect for the pandemic.

N.B. John bungled two Egan publication dates in his introduction; in reality, Emerald City and Other Stories came out in 1996 and The Invisible Circus in 1995.

Mentioned in the Episode

Listen and Read

Finally, all listeners and readers who are interested in the gentle art of podcasting are cordially invited to the inaugural Humanities Podcasting Symposium, held over Zoom, October 15-16. Latif Nasser of Radiolab will headline two days of workshops, seminars and discussions among scholars students and amateurs who have fallen in love with the pedagogical and intellectual possibilities the medium affords. Aarthi and John will both be presenting. Join us! RSVP here

Photo Credit:

Jennifer Egan © Pieter M. van Hattem (http://jenniferegan.com/)
Ivan Kreilkamp (https://ivankreilkamp.com/)
Wikimedia Commons

Published by plotznik

I teach English (mainly the novel and Victorian literature) at Brandeis University, and live in Brookline.

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